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Pecanwood: Moving With the Times

By pecanwood.co.za

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With over 800 luxury homes, a world-class golf course, a small-craft harbour, a country club including tennis courts and swimming pools, and three restaurant areas, Pecanwood Estate has already established itself as one of South Africa’s premier residential estates.

But every estate’s development is organic, and it needs to keep evolving in order to keep up with the dynamics of both the marketplace and the changing needs within its own community.

Pecanwood homeowners association’s (HOA) board and management have agreed on a multi-pronged strategy that focuses on security excellence combined with top-class facilities and a quality lifestyle experience. An integral part of this strategy involves a continuous process of improvement of both the assets and services on the estate.

Rebranding, refurbishing and re-creation

The board has adopted a Pecanwood brand promise that emphasises quality, innovation, sustainability and excellence focused on home owner benefits.

The first step in the brand rebuilding process was for the HOA to address the neglected country club assets.

The incorporation of the developer-owned country club required a major investment in asset refurbishment and rehabilitation. There have been immediate and tangible benefits, not least of which has been that the Jack Nicklaus signature golf course is now well on its way to regaining its reputation as a world-class facility.

Over the past 18 months both golf memberships and member and visitor rounds have shown healthy increases, while the club has successfully hosted several major amateur championships, including the National Amateur Stroke Play Championships and the Senior Interprovincial Teams event, and Pecanwood is also the proposed venue for the National Club Champion of Champion finals later in 2019.

The refurbished clubhouse areas have allowed the reestablishment of the restaurants. The Boat Club, with its beautiful views across the water towards the Magaliesberg mountain range, is proving to be particularly popular with residents. With its swimming pool, children’s play area, restaurant and decks, it is very family-friendly. Boat Club members have also benefited from the refurbishment process.

The recent rehabilitation of the harbour and walkways as well as the installation of a hyacinth barrier have helped to re-establish Hartbeespoort Dam as a water-sport playground, while the service levels have been further enhanced by the appointment of a rules- and safety-conscious bosun.

These developments did not, however, distract management from its key deliverables on infrastructure, maintenance, environmental management and security. New software is being introduced for asset maintenance tracking, and security upgrades are taking advantage of new technologies. Service providers are included in Pecanwood’s strategic goals, and the employment of specialist staff has improved the quality of garden maintenance as well as the aesthetics of the golf course.

The implementation of an environmental management plan has seen noxious and exotic plants being identified and removed, as well as the commencement of the removal of barbel and carp from the estate’s internal dams. Indigenous grasses are being introduced in common areas and some of the golf course’s wastebunkers. Wildlife is thriving on the estate. To date, over 108 bird, eight mammal and three reptile species have been identified by residents.

Catering for a new demographic

Over the last 22 years Pecanwood has evolved from a golf estate, with the majority of members being weekenders, to a lifestyle estate with a golf course where over 60% of the members are full-time residents. The profile of the individual resident has become younger, attracted by a combination of factors, including the proximity of the secure, high-quality estate to Pecanwood College, supported by preschool and day care facilities on the estate – and all within commuting range of Pretoria, Midrand and the northern suburbs of Johannesburg.

In recognition of this change, the HOA, board and management have improved the swimming pools, tennis courts and play areas dotted around the estate, and the restaurants have become more family-focused.

Safe and sound, and a secure investment

Naturally, security is a key component of any estate, and Pecanwood has spent over a million rand on updating the gate access protocols and upgrading the perimeter fence. Since its opening phases, Pecanwood has become a mini-municipality that supplies residents with all key services, except for refuse removal and electricity. The estate prides itself on its environmental plan, which includes composting plant material for reuse in the estate’s gardens and common areas, and recycling grey water through its own on-site plant. The HOA will be quick to tell you that Pecanwood is still evolving, and will continue to do so. In step with this continuing journey, the board has ambitious plans for the estate’s future – recognising that, in these uncertain times, one of any HOA’s key responsibilities is to safeguard the estate’s assets and its home owners’ property values.

Take a bow

The HOA’s board and management recognise that the attainment of excellence, the successes achieved to date and the sustaining of these standards is an ongoing task. A clear indication of the success of these initiatives can be found in Pecanwood’s having received awards in the prestigious African Property Awards in both categories in which it entered – including winning ‘Best Property Consultancy Africa’ for the HOA’s estate management activities.

The outcome to date, in what is an ongoing process, is that Pecanwood’s home owners can look forward with confidence to the rest of 2019 and beyond.

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